California doctor Gregg Homer of Stroma Medical is taking cosmetic surgery to a new level. For $5,000, brown-eyed girls and boys can toss their colored contacts and get Homer’s laser procedure, permanently changing brown eyes to blue.
The technology removes melanin, what creates the brown color, from the eye in just 20 seconds. In the course of two weeks, the lack of melanin reveals the blue pigment that brown-eyed people have in their eyes. Homer’s procedure doesn’t work the other way around—it can’t turn blue eyes brown.
According to Homer, the procedure doesn’t jeopardize a patient’s sight, and his tests haven’t shown any resulting tissue damage. If melanin seeps into the eye, though, patients risk getting pigmentary glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness.
Regardless, Homer is planning on testing for an additional year, and expects the technique to become available outside the US in two years and in the country in three years.
The success rate really depends on how the public takes to the new option, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder.